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Emmett Till & Lil WayneFeb 26, 2013 | News Archive
Family of Emmett Till Writes Open Letter to Lil Wayne
Recording artist Lil Wayne caused an upheaval in the hip hop community when the official remix of rapper Future’s track “Karate Chop (Remix)” hit the internet. In the song, Wayne made a controversial reference to Emmett Till, a civil rights icon who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14.
In an attempt at clever wordplay, the rapper compared his treatment of a woman’s genitals to the brutal beating Till took at the hands of Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam in 1955. Wayne raps, “beat the pu**y up like Emmett Till.”
An onslaught of complaints surrounding Wayne’s lyrics resulted in the recording company pulling the line from the song. But is that enough? Activists and members of the hip hop community are requesting that the rapper issue a public apology for his insensitive lyrics.
In an open letter sent exclusively to Vibe Magazine the Estate of Emmett Till writes:
Yesterday marked a week since the “unofficial” release of “Karate Chop~remix” inclusive of your lyrics. The words we speak are powerful enough for preservation of life but also have the capacity to destroy it. When you spit lyrics like “Beat that p—-y up like Emmett Till”, not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till’s memory and name, but the impact of his murder in black history along with degradation of women.
The tongue possesses power! I could offer you a history lesson and talk about the trailblazers that paved the way for our people and lyricists to engage in freedom of speech such as Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mamie Till Mobley; but this isn’t an argument about freedom of speech. It is critical that we stay true to urgency of the hour… our youth! Your “celebrity” thrusts you into the spotlight affording you the opportunity to embrace your role as a black man, father, friend, and artist that has the ability to reach international audiences. Are you bothered in the least by the staggering statistics of the extinction of our children?
Read the entire letter here: http://www.vibe.com/article/vibe-exclusive-open-letter-family-emmett-till-lil-wayne